New York Today: The Scourge of Plastic Straws

Updated, 10:50 a.m.

Good morning on this warming Wednesday.

As you sip your iced coffee this morning, imagine doing it without a straw.

A bill being introduced in the City Council today would outlaw plastic straws at eateries across the boroughs.

“It’s important for New Yorkers to understand that the plastic straw is not a necessity; it’s more of a luxury, and our luxury is causing great harm to other environments,” said the bill’s lead sponsor, Councilman Rafael L. Espinal Jr., a Democrat from Brooklyn.

The measure comes on the heels of proposals to ban single-use plastic bags statewide and the sale of disposable plastic bottles in city parks.

It would prohibit bars, restaurants and other service establishments — from small food carts to large stadiums — from offering single-use plastic straws or stirrers with drinks. Paper straws would still be allowed.

“New Yorkers need to know and understand that plastic isn’t the only type of straw available,” Mr. Espinal said. “There are paper straws, aluminum straws and bamboo straws that are much safer for our environment, to name just a few.”

More than 60 restaurants here have already gone straw-free. The ban, if passed, would be enforced by the city departments of consumer affairs, sanitation and health. Violators could face fines starting at $100.

Mr. Espinal said the proposal took on added urgency in April after a whale washed ashore in Spain with more than 60 pounds of trash — including plastic bags and a plastic drum — in its guts. Working with the Wildlife Conservation Society, which launched its Give a Sip project to support the plastic straw legislation, Mr. Espinal hopes to draw attention to how New York’s plastic consumption is affecting turtles, fish, birds and even whales living in our own waterways.

Only 9 percent of plastic waste is recycled; much of the rest, piling up in landfills or littered on the ground, can end up in the ocean by way of wind, water or humans.


Fuente: The new York Times

Publicado en Noticias.